The roller coaster of becoming a new parent can be overwhelming. Mindfulness coach and author Amy Taylor-Kabbaz expected she’d simply incorporate her baby into her career-focused path, but instead her first year was fraught with difficulties as both she and her baby struggled with health issues.
While researching health and wellbeing techniques, Amy had two more children and wrote a book called Happy Mama. Here are her top tips to survive — and thrive — in your first year as a parent.
Listen to the full interview here:
1. Don’t be so hard on yourself
Instead of criticising yourself for all the things you should be doing or could’ve done better, start acknowledging the little moments of celebration each day — even if it’s getting out of your PJs before 4pm.
And remember, you don’t have to do everything on your own — it’s okay to ask for help from your partner, friends and family. There are also a range of resources and hotlines available for parents, such as Tresillian and Raising Children Network.
2. Take time out for you
When you become a parent, it’s very easy to get caught up in looking after your new bundle of joy. However, what’s equally important is making sure you take time out for yourself as well — to relax and recharge.
Go for a walk, have coffee with a friend, read a book, meditate or take a much needed nap. When you come back to your children, pay attention to how you feel. Are you as stressed as you were before? Or do you feel calmer and better able to handle the next storm?
3. Introduce mindfulness into your day
Incorporate mindfulness into activities with your children. It’s not a technique you have to learn; it’s just about coming back to a thought that makes you feel good. For example, when breastfeeding your child at night, avoid checking messages and emails — instead take this time to relax and concentrate on your breathing.